The province is heading back to court to seek an injunction to remove the campers at Victoria’s tent city, after a fire inspection deemed the site unsafe.
The Office of the Fire Commissioner conducted a safety inspection on the site on the lawns of Victoria’ courthouse yesterday and determined it is in a state of disrepair.
According to the report, there is not enough space between tents and the use of tarps covering multiple tents is a fire safety concern. The report also states there are items blocking exit paths and an excessive storage of combustibles throughout the camp.
“There has been deterioration of the camp since the last inspection with items blocking egress pathways. Structures are larger and flow together due to flammable tarpaulins with little or not separation between the tents,” said the report. “Overall the danger to life safety created by the fire hazards is increasing and is considered to be only a matter of time before a serious fire incident occurs.”
Housing Minister Rich Coleman called the findings of “great concern.”
“This is significant to us and given those findings the province will go back to court next week sometime and ask for an injunction as early as we can possibly get it. It would be irresponsible for us not to try for an injunction again,” Coleman said, noting the level of crime and violence in the area of the courthouse will be presented in court.
In the past few weeks, three people have been assaulted near tent city.
In one incident, a 22-year-old male with alopecia was assaulted and robbed. Thursday night, a manager of one of the apartment complexes was assaulted by two men who stole his wallet.
Most recently, a media cameraman was assaulted while doing an interview near the site. One male was taken into custody.
Coleman expects they’ll be back in court sometime next week.